Global UC&C market forecast to grow to $48 billion by 2020


The global unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 12.3 per cent to reach $48.61 billion by 2020, according to latest research from analyst research company Technavio.

In a report, entitled ‘Global Unified Communication and Collaboration Market 2016-2020’, Technavio analyses three UC&C market segments: enterprise collaboration; enterprise telephony; and contact centre. It found that enterprise collaboration was the largest market in 2015, accounting for a 51 per cent share.

Technavio notes that growth in this segment is being driven by the move towards mobility and UC&C, which organisations are using to drive flexibility, agility and collaborative productivity.

In addition, it says, the adoption of BYOD will further accelerate the adoption of cloud-based UC&C solutions. UC-as-a-Service (UCaaS) is adding features, such as voicemail to text and fixed-mobile convergence, which in turn is improving customer experience.

“SMEs are increasingly leveraging enterprise and consumer technology solutions to support communications with customers. These solutions enhance collaboration among employees, suppliers, and clients. Also, these technologies are now less expensive, simple to deploy, and more powerful,” said Amit Sharma, a lead analyst at Technavio for research on IT professional services.

The report further cateogrises the UC&C market into four major capabilites: conferencing services (audio, video, and web conferencing services); email and messaging; wireless collaboration application; and communication-enabled business processes (CEBP). In 2015, conferencing services accounted for the largest market share, it notes. The growth stems from increased use of audio and web conferencing solutions as an alternative to the front-to-front mode of communication.

Enterprise telephony was the second-largest segment with 39 per cent market share in 2015, driven by adoption in the financial services, hospitality, and transportation sectors. Over the past three years, the report says, SMEs have also started to show an active interest in enterprise telephony solutions to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) and telecommunication bills.

However, Technavio predicts that this segment will decline during the forecast period due to rise in mobile workforce globally, and enterprise move to mobile solutions rather than enterprise telephony.

Enterprise telephony vendors face challenges such as budget constraints, uncertainty in decision making, and long sales cycle, notes the report. However, it points out that vendors are pointing out rapid RIO as a driver for adoption, and introducing lucrative financial schemes to speed-up the adoption of IP telephony systems.

The contact centre segment accounted for 10 per cent of the total 2015 market share. According to Technavio it is being driven by high adoption of business process automation (BPA) solutions, consisting of video cloud-based contact centre support and conferencing solutions, particularly in the APAC region.

It notes that contact centers worldwide are experiencing slow growth, and heavily dependent on expansion by teleco operators. The popularity of cloud-based contact centers is based on the initial low cost of entry, with emerging verticals, such as healthcare, e-commerce, and hospitality, expected to drive future investments in contact center UC services.

“Unified communications contact centers have a single voice over Internet protocol network that supports both data and voice. This allows multiple devices to connect with each other, online directories, and voice-to-text conversion. It helps companies to save on telecommunication costs,” says Amit.

Leading vendors highlighted in the report, include: Avaya, Cisco, IBM and Microsoft. A copy of the full report can be purchased here:

About Author

Gary Eastwood

Gary Eastwood has over 15 years of experience as a technology and business journalist and editor. He has held editorship positions on customer magazines for Microsoft, CSC, and EDF, as well as on B2B magazine Mobile Enterprise. He is the former Deputy Editor of Computer Business Review. In a freelance role, Gary has contributed numerous features and articles to a broad range of publications, including New Scientist, Computer Weekly, MIS, Marketing Week, Corporate Financier, Real Business, Wireless Business Review, and driven marketing communications projects for clients, such as Intel, the Confederation of British Industry, IBM, Logicalis, the Department of Trade & Innovation, and many others. Gary has written many white papers on a range of ITC subjects for Datamonitor. He is also an editorial photographer and business videographer, and has authored and ghost-written four books on photography. He is the Co-Director of EastwoodMiddleton Publishing, which provides contract/customer magazines for a growing list of clients, and publishes the B2B magazine for business leaders, Strategist.